So much has happened since I last blogged! I guess the main headliner would be that Kendyl, Derek, and I went to Europe. I cannot explain what an amazing trip it was. It’s going to be hard to condense everything we did/saw/ate in 10 days into one blog post. But I’ll attempt it.
Friday we left KC. Cathy picked us up at the airport the next day and we rode the TUBE back to Cathy’s school where we hung out for a little bit before we could check into our hostel. Later we dropped off our bags at the hostel and took a tiny tour of the city. We walked past Buckingham Palace, met Ben, saw the London Eye, and tried to meet up with Becky. That night we went out with Cathy and her friends. We danced, we laughed, and we had a good time. When the night was over, Kendyl, Derek and I walked back to the hostel because the tube was closed and the bus we needed to catch was not running. That whole process took probably an hour.
Combined with loss of sleep/clubbing/walking across town/jet lag, the next day (Sunday) I didn’t get out of bed until 1130. We met up with Becky and her friends and saw the Tower of London and walked across Tower Bridge. Then we had our first fish and chips meal in London at a pub near Tower Bridge. I ordered a Guinness because I wanted the full British experience. LOL. It was all very delicious. Later that evening, we got tickets for the London Eye, walked across Millennium Bridge and went out with Cathy and her friends to the Met. Cathy, Kendyl, and I all had strawberry Pimms. It was very delicious and it made me feel ever so British to be drinking Pimms.
Monday we had tickets booked for a morning trip to see Stonehenge! It’s about 2 hours outside of London so we got to sleep on the bus, which was nice. Even though it was a very cold, windy, and cloudy day, stones were very majestic! We got back into town later that afternoon and met up with Cathy and walked over to King’s Cross to take pictures at Platform 9 ¾. They have people who work the area, and I’d just like to say I would really like to have their jobs. Anyway, Cathy had plans with Becky for the night so Kendyl, Derek and I just walked around the area of our hostel and shopped for souvenirs/ourselves and had another meal of fish and chips at The Rocket. I LOVE FISH AND CHIPS.
Tuesday morning we got up early and walked to the British Museum before we met up with Cathy for HOGWARTS (aka The Harry Potter Studio tour)! The museum is HUGE and I wish we could’ve had more time there because it had some really interesting artifacts. We only had enough time to see about one floor of the museum which was mainly things like Ancient Egypt and Roman Empire and Ancient Greek, etc.
The journey to Hogwarts was kind of long. We took the tube to Euston Station where we caught a train to Watford Junction. From the train, we had to ride a shuttle bus to the actual studio. We retrieved our pre-booked tickets and then we were able to enter Hogwarts. From the Great Hall, to riding broomsticks, to butter beer and the magical Hogwarts Castel and the wands at the end, it was kind of emotional kind of day. If I had to describe that day in one word, it would have to be MAGICAL (as cliché as that sounds)!! We ate dinner at Pizza Express and then we went out to The Met again. Strawberry Pimms were ordered again, of course.
Wednesday morning we went back to the British Museum because we realized we didn’t see the Rosetta stone! Then we walked around town for some souvenir shopping, ate some of Ben’s Cookies then met up with Cathy since we had plans to take a picture at Abbey Road, LIKE THE BEATLES. They have photographers that take pictures for you once traffic slows. We let them use Kendyl’s camera, so we’ll have to wait until she uploads that to see how it turned out! After that we met up with Becky and her friends at Big Ben to get more pictures, and saw Westminster Abbey. Then we walked to Hyde Park where there’s a Christmas Market and where we had booked tickets to ice skate. I’ve only ice skated one other time like 3 years ago. I was super nervous, but after a while I think I started to get the hang of it, even though I fell multiple times. I’m still hurting from it actually. But it was so fun, and I’m definitely up to do it again! After that we went to see Harrod’s and felt like peasants just walking through the store. Then we took the bus to Chinatown and had some Chinese for our last night in London.
The next morning we rode the Chunnel to PARIS! We got there around 9, purchased Metro tickets and eventually found our hostel. We dropped off our luggage and headed for the Eiffel Tower, which we climbed up to the 2nd floor, 600+ steps! It was a pretty view though. We also walked past Napoleon’s Tomb, but didn’t realize it until after we were there. After the Eiffel Tower we decided to head back since it was getting kind of late and we were hungry. My thanksgiving meal consisted of a Baggett and a coffee nut cake from a nearby bakery. It was delicious.
Friday we got our day started pretty early since we had so much to see. We first walked down the Latin Quarter, then walked past the Sorbonne. From there we walked to Notre Dame, then had Nutella Crepes from a café not too far away. They were SO GOOD. SO GOOOOOD. We stopped at ate them on a bench on a bridge over the Seine. The next stop was the Louvre. We saw Mona and Venus de Milo and a lot of other artworks. After that we walked down Champs Elysees where all the fancy shops are. On our way there, we walked through a Christmas Market and surprisingly ran into Becky and her friends! Anyway, Kendyl and I got Macaroons from Laduree. I got 4 small ones (salted carmel, coffee, lemon, and passion fruit)! They were suppes taste! We then walked down to see the Arc de Triomphe. It was pretty misty/rainy/cold at this point. But we continued on our journey and walked to the Eiffel Tower to get some more pictures of it all pretty and lit up. We turned in kind of early again since we had to leave early to catch the train to Brugge.
At the train station, Kendyl was the only one who was able to print her ticket off. Meanwhile, Derek and I apparently didn’t even have reservations for a train ticket and 103 euros later, we boarded a different train and met Kendyl at our hostel. There was a free walking tour so we jumped on that opportunity and saw the beauty that is Brugge. Christmas Markets seem to be the thing in Europe because there was on right in the center of town here too. After the tour, we ate some Belgian fries from a stand in the square, then we went to the brewery tour of the only brewery left in town. Of course we got free brews afterwards. We went back to the hostel, met our British roommates, and went back out to find some things to eat and just to explore the city.
The next day we rented bikes and biked the perimeter of the city. This included me running over a lady and her dog, well kind of. But mainly I was just happy I’ve improved at bike riding! At about 3.5 hours of bike riding, my body was not happy and I just kept falling of my bike, thankfully it was time to return the bikes. I wish my camera didn’t run out of batteries the night before because there were so many picture opportunities that I missed. After that, we saw the blood of Christ and we kind of just shopped for souvenirs for the rest of the day. Towards the end of the night we stopped at a waffle place where we all got ice cream and waffles. It was seriously the most delicious waffle I have ever tasted. We sat there for quite some time since we were all so tired from walking around. We turned in kind of early since we had to be up early again to catch a train to Brussels, then catch the EuroStar to London. No travel problems this time though.
Once in London, I got Silver Linings Playbook to read on the plane ride back, and we all got some last minute souvenirs, then sat in Russell Square Park and watched the pigeons before we were set to meet up with Cathy at 1230 at Baker Street Station so we could go to the airport together. Since we got to the station a bit early I bought us all Ham and Mature Cheddar croissants from Treats at the tube station since I was the only one who had pounds left. Also of note, I DID NOT see Benedict Cumberbatch or Eddie Redmayne at all while in Londey Lond. 😦
We got to the airport pretty early, checked in our bags, and said goodbye. Saying goodbye was hard. But wombs will be reunited soon enough! 😉 We boarded our flight and we took off probably about 15 minutes late, meaning we got to ORD 15 minutes late. We had to go through customs, grab our bags off the carousel, then recheck them in and go through security again. Since the security line was what seemed to be like a million people long, and only having one line open, it took us almost an hour to get through and long story short, we missed our flight to MCI. The next direct flight out would be at 720am but we’d have to be waitlisted. So we booked a flight out to ATL where we’d catch a different flight to KC. The latter is what we ended up having to do. So we spent the night on the very uncomfortable floor of O’Hare.
We landed back home at around 130 but didn’t leave until after 2 since Kendyl and I still had to find our bags. My stepmom picked us all up and dropped us all off and I could not have been more happy to finally be home after that travel nightmare. That night, I went with Gentry, Lea, and Kendyl to see Catching Fire and unwillingly fell asleep due to lack of sleep the night before. I knew if I couldn’t stay up for that, there was no way I was going to stay up for the 2 hour drive back to Columbia. So I decided to stay home and sleep and wake up early to drive back in time to go to my last 8 am lecture.
Yesterday I also worked at HV for 7 hours and it was probably a bad idea since I still hadn’t fully recovered from jet lag/exhaustion yet. After work I basically passed out until this morning. It was nice. Today I had my last class of the semester. How weird. Now I just have finals and work left. I’m still in shock at how fast this semester has gone by! And also, 20 days until Christmas. WHAT?!
Peace out, girl scouts!